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Abstract

A series of palinspastic and paleogeographic reconstructions has been made for the Pannonian and surrounding regions for five time periods: (1) Coniacian-Paleocene, (2) early-middle Eocene, (3) late Eocene-early Oligocene, (4) late Oligocene-early Miocene, and (5) late Miocene. These maps were constructed by grouping together various crustal blocks that underwent similar phases of deformation or sedimentation into tectonostrati-graphic units. We show how the present complex distribution of Mesozoic tectonostratigraphic units could have developed from a simple initial configuration during Cenozoic deformation of the Carpathian-Pannonian region, and that the formation, duration, and disruption of various Paleogene paleogeographic elements can be directly related to contemporaneous tectonic events.

In this analysis we interpret the elongate Hungar, ian Paleogene basin as a wrench related basin that formed along an east, northeast, trending zone of dextral shear in Eocene-Oligocene time. This shear zone was probably responsible for the Paleo-gene dislocation of the Apuseni Mountains from the inner West Carpathians. We further interpret the Pieniny Klippen belt as the result of conver, gence and sinistral shear active in part during Eocene time. This analysis suggests that the inner flysch zones (podhale flysch, Szolnok, Maramures flysch, and Transcarpathian flysch) originally con, stituted a continuous flysch basin that was subse, quently disrupted by roughly east, northeast, trending dextral shear zones.

Large shear zones such as those postulated in this paper are required partly because of the diachro, nous nature of the convergent boundary extending from the Eastern Alps to the East Carpathians and partly because of the different directions of thrusting around the belt. These shear zones separate areas of active shortening in the outer Carpathian orogenic belt from inactive parts of the belt and also act as transform type boundaries that connect areas of shortening in the Carpathians to areas of short, ening in the Dinaric Alps. The existence of such shear zones can thus be deduced almost directly from analysis of the varying rates and directions of convergence across the Carpathian belt.

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